Building record MYO522 - SKELTON MANOR


A timber framed, manor house built in the mid 16th century, with alterations in the early-mid 18th century and in the 19th century. Additions were made to the building in the late 19th century.


Grid reference SE 5681 5660 (point)
Map sheet SE55NE
Civil Parish Skelton, City of York, North Yorkshire
Unitary Authority City of York, North Yorkshire


Type and Period (5)

Full Description

House. Mid C16 origins with major alterations of early-mid C18 and late C19. For Edward Besley, the Roman Catholic MP for York and his wife Bridget Nelson. Vestigial timber framing subsequently cased in brick, with plain tile roof. Probably originally a hall with 2 cross wings to the rear, now hallway entry with wings breaking forward slightly. 2 storeys, 6 first- floor windows. Late C19 mullion and transom windows. C19 gabled porch with battened door to left of central section and large 6-light transomed window to right. Left wing: 5-light window. Right wing: 6-light canted bay window. First floor: 2-light fixed windows to central section and left wing. 4-light fixed window to right wing. Hipped roofs to wings. Ridge stack and right end stack. Interior: surviving posts in the kitchen, near the back stairs, by the door to the cellar and at the west end of the main staircase probably delineate the original back wall, while studding in the rear passage and a truss at the top of the back stairs supporting a wall plate running to the north suggest cross wings to the rear. The post in the kitchen is marked IIII. The north wall of the kitchen contains a fine chamfered and stopped bressumer. The entrance hall is panelled in oak, C17 in date, with a plaster acanthus frieze above. The niche in the north wall is a C20 insertion, but in character. The overmantel is elaborately carved with arches within the panels, and may not be original in this position. The cupboard door and that to the back stairs both have cocks head hinges. To the left of the hall is the dining room with a fine frieze of pomegranates, roses, carnations and grapes to the cross beam. The walls have C17 panelling with a frieze and the fireplace, which may be C16 in origin, has some Victorian work included. To the right of the hall the sitting room is panelled in light oak. Closed string main staircase with vine-scroll strings, elaborately carved newels and mirror balusters. Comparison with the staircase at Sheriff Hutton Park suggests that it might be by Thomas Ventris of York. First floor: the chamber over the hall is panelled throughout with a carved and arcaded frieze similar to that at 58 Stonegate, York (early C17). This date is supported by the style of the caryatids and atlantes which stand on classical bases and bear blank shields and separate each round-arched panel. Full height figures flank the fireplace, one a caryatid holding a quill and a bird, and the other an atlantus holding a harp. The north-south ceiling beam carries a plaster frieze of pomegranates, the emblem of Katherine of Aragon, which suggests a mid - late C16 date for this feature. The doorway from the landing into this room is of late C16 date with 2 wooden C15 bosses attached. The cupboard by this door carries C17 arabesques, but the butterfly hinges suggest re-use in the C18. The small sitting room to the left of the landing contains a plaster frieze of mermaids and mermen with shields. This is late C16 and has been interrupted by the insertion of the C17 staircase. Mermaids were the symbol of Mary, Queen of Scots so this may be a reference to Catholicism. The panelling in the west bedroom is C17 and painted white, but is probably not original to this room. The east bedroom has light oak panelling. In the north wall of the north bedroom a post and wall plate are visible, giving further evidence for a rear cross wing to the original timber-framed structure. The interior of this house is exceptionally well preserved and has been restored with very great care. Gee E A, Skelton Manor on-site notes (typescript only, 1978). North Yorkshire and Cleveland Vernacular Building Study Group Report No 771.
Listing NGR: SE5681956602

Derived from English Heritage LB download dated: 22/08/2005

NMR Information:

[SE 56815660] MANOR HOUSE [LB] (1)

The building is much modernised and altered, but probably dates from the late 16th c. (2)

An undistinguished building now divided into several dwellings. All external features are 19th c. GP. AO.65.54.7 shows the south front. (3)

Grade II Manor House
Late 16th Century timber framed with brick facing but so altered and modernised externally that little original remains though some windows on South side have (restored) stone mullions and transomes. 2-storey rectangular central portion of 3 windows, 2 wings, hipped roof, original tiles. Interesting interior:- 16th Century oak staircase: square newels, with pierced terminals of steeple form and carved pendants; moulded rail rests on turned balusters, good carved vine leaf ornament string. One room has 16th Century oak panelled walls with carved arcaded frieze and terminal figures. Another has 17th Century panelling, from Skelton Church, the hall has oak panelling and elaborate 17th Century carved chimney piece. Various panelling, carving and plaster work in other rooms.(Graded for interior). (4)

The building has been upgraded to Grade II* . For definitive information on listed buildings please consult the Listed Buildings System (5)

1 Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date) OS 25"
2 The Victoria history of the county of York, North Riding, volume two 167 edited by William Page
3 Field Investigators Comments F1 RL 14-AUG-65
4 List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest 7 DOE(HHR) Flaxton Rural District, North Yorkshire, August 1949
5 List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest District of Ryedale, 12-DEC-1986

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Record last edited

Jul 5 2019 1:29PM


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